Spring is not readily springing upon us this year. I would have expected to have seen more wildflowers around by this point but the cold weather has so far kept most of them at bay. A couple of wildflowers that I have seen are primrose, colts foot and butterbur. Butterbur is a very distinctive wildflower that is found in wet areas. On the reserve there is a patch opposite the boardwalk and a large patch just before the power station on the left hand side.
A few interesting facts about butterbur: The leaves of were once used to wrap butter, the flowers appear before the leaves, the plant was used as a natural dye for Harris Tweed, and it is used as a natural remedy for migraines. Butterbur emerges as pink flower stalks in February and are similar in appearance to button mushrooms (they were also known as ‘early mushrooms’). Male and female flowers are found on separate plants (male flower spikes are shorter).
This Saturday we are opening our Peregrine Watch with a launch event. This free event is open to everyone and starts at 10am in the Falls of Clyde Visitor Centre. We will begin by introducing everyone to our new seasonal staff, followed by a talk about the history of our birds and then a guided walk by me, following our peregrine trail up to the Watch Site. At this point we should hopefully be able to see our birds!
I saw our peregrines yesterday at the Watch Site, it seems as if the tiercel had caught a prey item and had offered it to the falcon. This is typical pair bonding behavior for peregrine falcons. In the next few weeks we should begin to see them nest scraping and deciding upon a nest.
Laura Preston – Scottish Wildlife Trust, Falls of Clyde Ranger
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